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It is not just "pick a lane, any lane" then "pick an exit any exit"
Monday, October 27, 2014

Here's a useful reminder on roundabout rules in Spain from the Dirección General de Tráfico.
‪It's not just "pick a lane, any lane" then "pick an exit any exit".


Don't you just LOVE this? 


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El Altet (Alicante airport) install license plate readers to monitor ‘foreign’ taxis
Friday, October 24, 2014

AS ELCHE Taxi drivers strive to cut out as much competition as possible for airport fares, a license plate reader is about to be installed to seek out ‘black’ taxis. The National Commission of Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (AENA) has approved the installation of a license plate reader to control the entry of what they term ‘foreign taxis’ at the airport in Alicante-Elche, which is limited to six monthly services. A foreign taxi is decreed to be any taxi not from Elche. 

At the moment, the Elche police force is in charge of trying to control and to respond to requests for permission by foreign taxi drivers who wish to pick up at the airport, but Elche’s Councillor for Transportation, Justino Delgado noted “you can not keep track of this ‘very comprehensively’, all year long.”

Such a facility already exists at Barcelona-El Prat and Delgado added: "this is going to solve a historical problem that has cost a lot of money to our drivers." The licence plate reader costs about 7,000 euros, which will be paid for by the Elche council, who will also be responsible for its maintenance. It’s expected to be installed by the end of next month. However, Barcelona is Spain’s largest city and very few ‘foreign’ taxis have ever had a major presence there.

Adding to their protectionism, Elche’s Department of Transportation will be starting disciplinary proceedings against those taxi drivers who they accuse of exceeding the limitation of six services per month. This limitation was launched last May following a consensus decision by the Department of Transportation, the Elche council and the Association of Auto-Taxi Elche. At this time, Elche taxi drivers slashed tyres, smashed windows, broke off mirrors, verbally abused and threw raw eggs at ‘foreign’ taxis and their drivers. 

The Elche Taxi association noted that before May 2014, “the level of intrusiveness in the airport was about 40 foreign daily drivers, mainly from Torrevieja, Benidorm, Murcia and Cartagena versus 82 from Elche.” These figures should almost be expected because approximately 85% of those travelling through the airport are foreigners, with just a tiny percentage of these owning property in or around Elche. 

Elche taxi drivers have often been accused of wishing to travel south by the AP7 rather that the N332, as the route is longer and more expensive. Being from Elche, most rely upon Sat Nav systems to find their destination, and there have been many complaints about Elche drivers getting lost trying to find urbanisations and streets that are not logged into such a system and rarely mapped. Their lack of local knowledge, little or no English and the use of the taximeter rather than offering a flat rate have led to more complaints. In part, the success of the Torrevieja Airport Bus service is partly due to the dissatisfaction with the service offered by some Elche taxis plus ‘foreign’ taxis are considering taking a case to the European Courts due to the anti-competitive nature and protectionism practices employed to keep out foreign taxis from the area.

Source RTN

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Lynda Bellingham passed away yesterday
Monday, October 20, 2014

Actress and presenter Lynda Bellingham died yesterday in her husband Michael's arms, her agent has said.
The 66-year-old star, best known for her long-running role as a mother in the Oxo TV adverts, had been battling colon cancer, which later spread to her lungs and liver, since being diagnosed in July last year.

Loose Women on ITV will be showing a new recording of presenters talking with Lynda which is to be aired on Wednesday.

Rest in Peace dear brave Lynda. 


Source: Daily Mail

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All municipalities in Murcia region to have bilingual schools next year
Friday, October 17, 2014

THE MINISTRY of Education for the region of Murcia is preparing measures to expand teacher training in foreign languages. They expect that all municipalities in the region will have bilingual schools for the next academic year. 

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Universities has set a goal for next year in that all families who wish their children to receive their education in Spanish and English can have this possibility. This was announced this week by Minister Pedro Antonio Sánchez in the Regional Assembly, where he appeared at his own request to report on the measures taken by the Department in promoting and enhancing language teaching in the Educational System of the Region of Murcia. He noted that the scheme has proved to be very popular with this year 44,000 students taking up the offer, 13,500 more than last year, to pursue their studies in Spanish and English.

“For this year we have increased by one-third the number of students receiving bilingual education, thereby responding to the needs of families and society because mastering a second language is more and more a necessity. Centres and teams of teachers are making a great effort, but we must all continue to work and offer the program in all municipalities, to have at least one bilingual school next year, "said the minister.

"Our ultimate goal with the initiative '+ Languages' is that 75 percent of elementary students are able to communicate in everyday situations, in everyday life in English, and the same percentage of high school students can use the English language for employment in professional or study situations. Proficiency in at least one foreign language is paramount and we are responding to this social need. Today, English is basic for exports, tourism and overall economic development, but also for research and innovation, culture and for social advancement, "concluded Pedro Antonio Sánchez.

Source... RTN

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Full scale alert as aircraft passenger jokes 'I have Ebola! You are all screwed'
Friday, October 10, 2014

A full-scale alert was sparked when a man on a flight from the US to the Dominican Republic joked, “I have Ebola! You are all screwed.”

Passengers were ordered to stay in their seats as emergency medical teams dressed in protective suits boarded the aircraft at Punta Cana airport to confront a traveller who had been coughing during the trip from the US.

A few minutes later the man, said to be a 54-year-old from the US, was escorted from the US Airways aircraft protesting, “I ain’t from Africa. S***.”

Medical teams dressed in protective suits boarded the aircraft The Dominican authorities said after an investigation that they were satisfied the passenger had been making a joke, albeit in questionable taste, and that he did not have Ebola.

Paola Rainieri, a communications executive at Grupo Punta Cana which owns the airport, described the comment as a “joke of poor taste”.

Read more at source: Independent

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Easyjet summer 2015 are now available
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Easyjet summer 2015 are now available till 6/9/2015 


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Access to healthcare when you live in Spain.
Monday, October 6, 2014

2/10/2014. Today sees the launch of the healthcare team's new video about access to healthcare when you live in Spain.

This animated video from the Department of Health and the British Embassy in Madrid gives official advice to British Nationals thinking of moving to Spain on how to register for healthcare as residents in an easy-to-understand way. Follow our top tips for a healthy and happy life in Spain! You can also find out more about your healthcare options in Spain on


Like 0        Published at 10:36 AM   Comments (0)

Stay at Tara Casa, a truly wonderful dedicated retreat to relaxation in the Murcian countryside
Sunday, October 5, 2014


Your Retreat Hosts – Vivienne Wharton & Daniel Rust 



In the heart of rural Murcia is ‘Tara Casa’, a dedicated Retreat to Relaxation but with the added opportunity to take part in some holistic activities which include Yoga, Weight Loss, Mosaic making and Pilates.

Check out  ....

Website ...

Email info@taracasa.comfor information that's not on the website.

968 16 35 29

Vivienne Wharton is also the President of Actin-Spain    (animal defence charity)
Accredited BCPA – Body Control Pilates Association
Pilates and Osteoporosis
Pilates in pregnancy
British School of Yoga Meditation
Reiki Level 1
She is currently undertaking the advanced Yoga teacher with BSY

Enquire now ..  Use drop down menu for different holidays on following link, see holiday chart below.

Tara Casa is a country house set in the quiet village of La Magdalena in the Murcian countryside. The weather here is said by the ‘World Health’ organization to be the healthiest climate in the world. In the winter it is like permanent spring. 

The country house used to be the village school back in the day and would have been the hub of this tiny village. It has now been lovingly converted by Vivienne and Dan the owners, into a retreat for guests. 

At Tara Casa you can sit among the lemon and orange trees in the Mediterranean garden and listen to the sounds of the wind chimes, the birds and feel the gentle mountain breeze. A place to relax, far away from the daily routine of a busy life, a place to be.

The village is quiet and has no immediate local restaurants or amenities, so it is recommended to hire a car, or arrange transport with your hosts for visiting local places of interest, or eating out.

Get the ahhh feeling!
What’s that you might ask? The Ahhh feeling is the feeling you get after a few days of total rest and relaxation. This is when your nervous system switches properly from fight or flight, to the relaxation response.

Please note that all holidays at Tara Casa may be tailored to suit your needs. You can add in other activities besides Yoga and Pilates, which may include mosaic making or walking/birdwatching or just resting and having some treatment and therapies.

We are open all year round and holidays out of season can be very enjoyable. The weather in Murcia is a mild winter with plenty of sunshine, almost hot in the midday sun. The almond trees blossom in January making walking holidays the perfect activity early in the year. Easter holidays in Spain are always marked with fiesta´s and parades, after Easter the weather turns alot warmer and summer holidays begin. The hot weather lasts through to October and lazing be the pool is always a good option. 

Location: La Magdalena is a tiny village in Murcia. The village is surrounded by almond groves and mountains; the closest range of mountains, the Sierra Espuna is a 45 minutes drive and is a stunning nature reserve. 25 minutes from the village is the port of Mazarron, forty minutes to the famous La Manga strip and the Mar Menor where people go to bathe in the salt lakes, with its many healing benefits. 45 minutes from the Cathedral City of Murcia, the capital. In this region you will also find some of the best golf courses around. Walking and cycling trails are abundant and protected beaches, here the typical Spanish countryside with its sleepy villages is seemingly behind modern times.

The nearest beach of El Portus is just 15 minutes drive away.

Here, at Tara Casa, holidays can be tailored to suit your needs and budget. You can mix and match the activities or simply enjoy doing very little. The schedule can be finalised when you arrive and we pride ourselves on being very flexible. We only have 4 guest bedrooms at Tara Casa so booking your holidays as early as possible is advisable.

After all holidays are special.


Check out Dan's Facebook page, see his amazing mosaics.

Dan Rust studied fine art and specialises in the medium of Mosaic Art. His work can be seen throughout the region.

Come and unleash your creativity at Tara Casa with a mosaic course. One day to week long courses, individuals and groups.


Like 0        Published at 11:26 PM   Comments (0)

Another spanner in the works for Corvera airport
Saturday, October 4, 2014

Further delays at Corvera as the EC requires more answers from the regional government.

The future of the new Region of Murcia International Airport at Corvera is still up in the air, following the publication of news this week that the European Commission in Brussels requires further information before making a pronouncement on whether the proposed regional government loan to management company Aeromur is acceptable.

The news has caused frustration among regional government ministers, who claim that all the questions have already been answered, but the truth is that the issues concerned are complex ones and the authorities in Brussels have to be careful to ensure that good money is not being thrown after bad, as well as guaranteeing that unfair competition regulations are not being infringed.

The main topics on which Brussels officials require further information are two: firstly, clarification as to whether the loan capital is to be used on infrastructures or running costs if and when the airport opens, and secondly the compensation being claimed by Aena for the closure of San Javier airport to civil aviation traffic. Although the regional government says that all the answers have already been given, it has to be admitted that both issues are confusing.

The issue of the purpose of the loan is an important one. If it is required to meet initial running costs in the first years of operation at Corvera, then the amount of lending allowed will depend on forecast operational deficit levels and passenger numbers, with the maximum amount permitted requiring an annual total of under 700,000 passengers. Manuel Campos, the regional minister for Development and Public Works, has stated in response that the loan is for infrastructures, but this is somewhat confusing: in May this year, regional president Alberto Garre reiterated that the airport was ready to open “tomorrow”, making it difficult for Brussels to understand the need for more infrastructures. Even this week, Manuel Campos has reiterated that the airport at Corvera is “completely prepared”.

As for the passenger number requirement, over the last year Sr Campos has cited a forecast passenger volume of up to 6 million per year, although San Javier processed 1.2 million passengers last year.

If the purpose of the loan is a complex issue, the closure of San Javier is an even thornier one. Manuel Campos reports that the proposed loan to Aeromur is compatible with free competition, but only if San Javier closes within six months. This seems difficult to reconcile with his statements of July this year, when, while maintaining a prediction that Corvera would open in 2014, he forecast that it could run alongside San Javier until 2016, and during the last few years others in regional government have claimed at various points that there is no need for San Javier to close at all.

Having invested in a second runway and a new control tower to improve facilities at San Javier, which it insists must be reimbursed in order to close down the facilities,  Aena is claiming a reported 36 million euros in compensation, and another unresolved question is who would be liable to pay this amount. Sr Campos is adamant that it’s not the regional government: “I’m not taking a runway and a control tower with me to Corvera”, he told members of the press on Wednesday.

Another candidate to compensate Aena would be Aeromur, but the company is keeping well away from the issue, while perhaps the most logical option would be the Ministry of Defence, who would take back full control of the airport if it is closed to civil aviation. This seems the best solution, but raises the complication that it could then constitute further government aid to Aeromur, reviving the doubts over unfair competition through government subsidization.

It’s all very confusing…

“Corvera will open in April”
What is clear is that the latest request by the European Commission for more information will delay the project yet again, possibly by another two months. In the light of this, Sr Campos now says that “Corvera will open in April”.........


Read further at MurciaToday 

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